Arthur Schopenhauer argues that if a person has their own individual qualities to be proud of, they would not need to resort to national pride. But those who are “infected” with national pride are typically those who have nothing else to be proud of. They see their nation as a reflection of themselves, and so they take pride in its accomplishments, even if they have no personal role in them. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s country. But Schopenhauer’s quote is a reminder that national pride should not be a substitute for personal pride.
Schopenhauer’s quote is still relevant today, as we continue to see examples of people using national pride to justify harmful and divisive behavior. It is important to remember that our nation is not us, and that we should not blindly defend its actions. We should be critical of our government and our society, and work to make them better places for everyone.
In psychology there is one term – narcissistic expansion. Not wanting to realize his own pitiful and wretched situation, a person easily joins something great and important and becomes a part of it. Narcissistic expansion could involve them attaching themselves to a powerful or influential person. By associating themselves with things that are seen as being great and important, they can feel like they are also great and important. Narcissistic expansion can be a dangerous defense mechanism because it can lead people with NPD to make poor decisions.
It is important to remember that national pride is just one part of a person’s identity. It should not be used to define someone or to make judgments about others. The most important thing is to be a good person and to contribute to society in a positive way.