, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 165-185

KILLING FOR THE HOMELAND: PATRIOTISM, NATIONALISM AND VIOLENCE

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Abstract

Political choices favoring one's country or one's nationality are wrong if they conflict with a principle of universal free acceptability, prohibiting choices that violate every set of rules to which any willing cooperator would want all to conform. Despite its universalism, this principle requires patriotic favoritism in political choices and permits individuals to assert nationalist interests in claims for state aid. But it deprives patriotism and nationalism of any distinctive role in establishing the legitimacy of wars and uprisings. These restrictions are appropriate even if stronger forms of patriotism and nationalism are psychologically indispensable for achieving social goals required for universal free acceptability.