Can Patriotism Survive Democracy?

Jeremy Rabkin, Azure 5763:15 (Summer 2003).


The title is misleading. If you are seeking instruction on how to make people patriots, you will find Walter Berns’ Making Patriots disappointing. What it presents, rather, is a meditation on why patriotism is hard to sustain in a modern liberal democracy. Berns does offer a very eloquent restatement of a perspective on politics that many great thinkers once embraced–namely, that the good citizen must be faithful to the political ideals of the community. Many who share this vision feel that something important is lacking in liberal democracies today.