When Patriotism is Little


More about the tensions between empire and republic / big and small / patriotism and nationalism. From Katherine Dalton at Front Porch Republic.

Dalton's speech has much to recommend it, but this passage caught my attention:

"In The Politics of Human Nature, Tom Fleming, the editor of Chronicles magazine, makes the argument that a right ordering of our ethical lives could best be pictured as concentric circles of responsibility—that the closer our physical ties to a person or place, the stronger are our ethical responsiblities for the well-being of that person or place. None of us has infinite amounts of time, emotional energy, or money, and so we must by necessity put our responsibilities in some kind of order. When we do, says Dr. Fleming, we should follow the general premise that our kin and neighbors and hometown ought to come before acquaintances or even strangers who live in far-off places. That doesn’t mean we have no obligation or no right to think beyond on our family circles and communities. But it does mean that charity begins at home."

Read the entire speech here.