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love for or devotion to one’s fatherland, the desire to serve the interests of one’s country through one’s actions. “Patriotism is one of the most deeply ingrained sentiments, inculcated by the existence of separate fatherlands for hundreds and thousands of years” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 37, p. 190).
Historically, elements of patriotism existed in antiquity in the form of attachment to one’s homeland, language, and traditions. In a class society patriotism becomes class oriented, for every class expresses its attitude to the fatherland through its specific interests.
With the development of capitalism, the formation of nations, and the establishment of national states, patriotism becomes an integral component of social consciousness. As class antagonisms sharpen, however, and the bourgeoisie becomes the ruling class, its patriotism ceases to reflect nationwide interests, as was the case in the period of the struggle against feudalism. The patriotism of the bourgeoisie allies itself with nationalism and chauvinism and is limited to exploitative interests, for “capital places the safeguarding of the alliance of the capitalists of all countries against the working people above the interests of the fatherland, of the people, or of what you will” (ibid., vol. 36, pp. 328–29). The petite bourgeoisie is characterized by national narrow-mindedness and national egoism, and these features govern its attitude toward the fatherland and other peoples.
In bourgeois society the proletariat acts as the articulator of the people’s fundamental national interests, and hence as the bearer of genuine patriotism. In his article “On the National Pride of the Great Russians,” written during World War I, V. I. Lenin remarked: “Is a sense of national pride alien to us, Great-Russian class-conscious proletarians? Certainly not! We love our language and our country, and we are doing our very utmost to raise her toiling masses (i.e., nine-tenths of her population) to the level of a democratic and socialist consciousness” (ibid., vol. 26, p. 107). Genuine patriotism is incompatible with cosmopolitanism and nationalism.
In the course of the socialist revolution the social nature of the fatherland changes. It moves to socialism, which is the object of national pride and the real fatherland of the toilers. A socialist patriotism of all the people develops; this patriotism harmoniously combines love for the best national traditions of one’s people with a selfless devotion to socialism and communism and with a respect for other peoples. Socialist patriotism is inseparably connected with proletarian internationalism. In Lenin’s words, “without this patriotism, we would not have succeeded in defending the Soviet Republic, in doing away with private property. … This is the finest revolutionary patriotism” (ibid, vol. 42, p. 124). Socialist patriotism found its most vivid manifestation during the Civil War and Military Intervention of 1918–20 in Russia and the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union of 1941–45.
Under the conditions of the consolidation and development of a new historical community of people—the Soviet people—all-Union political and sociopsychological values are being established. There appears in the Soviet man a national pride that embraces the Soviet Union as a whole; such pride is an important element of socialist patriotism. With the formation of the world socialist system, “the patriotism of the citizens of socialist society is embodied in devotion and fidelity to one’s homeland and to the entire community of socialist countries” (Programma KPSS, 1974, p. 120). The ideas and feelings of socialist patriotism are an important factor in the political and labor activity of the masses during the construction of communism. The CPSU considers the education of the Soviet people in the spirit of an organic union of socialist patriotism and internationalism to be one of its most important tasks.
REFERENCESLeninizm i natsional’nyi vopros v sovremennykh usloviiakh, 2nd ed., Moscow, 1974.
Rogachev, P. M., and M. A. Sverdlin. Patriotizm i obshchestvennyi progress. Moscow, 1974.
M. M. SKIBITSKII