Patriotism consists not in
waving the flag, but in
striving that our country shall
be righteous as well as strong
I picked this quote became James Bryce was not an American. He was a British Ambassador to the US from 1907 to 1913. And he wrote The American Commonwealth. So while we’re flag waving and remembering our military who died in just and in unjust wars, let’s remember that just flexing our muscles is not enough. Straining relationships with our allies is not patriotism. It’s stupidity.
But I think these next two quotes from him are chilling because he wrote these in 1888. Think how much worse it is now.
Sixty years ago, there were no great fortunes in America, few large fortunes, no poverty. Now there is some poverty… and a greater number of gigantic fortunes than in any other country of the world.
As respects education… the profusion of…elementary schools tends to raise the mass to a higher point than in Europe… [but] there is an increasing class that has studied at the best universities. It appears that equality has diminished [in this regard] and will diminish further.