The History of Leith

April 9, 2012

The Enhanced Value of Patriotism.

The Enhanced Value of Patriotism.
In the Ideal Republic of Plato, so highly was the
State developed, that there was no room for the family.
He had failed to estimate one of the permanent elements
of human life. Among the pseudo-internationalists of
to-day, such as Snowden and Ramsay MacDonald, as
the War has made plain, there is no real room for
patriotism. But the intense feeling of the nation gave
them a conclusive answer. Instead of beftig convinced
that they had taken a wrong turning, men of this stamp
have vented their spleen by fomenting, at the most
inopportune time for the welfare of the community,
every sort of agitation. As against such revolutionaries
the people will do well to erect the Barrier of a healthy
patriotism, in which the good of the whole is preferred
to the fictitious and temporary good of any class. It
is not class warfare but class co-operation which will
enable us to carry the immense burdens of the past and
face our future tasks with a strong and lofty hope. One
•good element in the local patriotism of Leith as against
Edinburgh, not to enter on the general question at all,
is just the strength and tenacit}’ of the feeling which
holds our community together, and makes men willing
to render services and to endure sacrifices for a definite
purpose. So we shall be on right lines if we turn our
new-born patriotism to account by earnestly directing
our minds and binding our loyalty to some such ends
as I shall now indicate. Our education must not end
with the elementary subjects, nor even with the training
for a •’ailing in life. It will only be right
if it is shot through, all along, with the development of
character, and with worthy views of citizenship.
.Lib. the present war is over, it will be a folly-, for
11 pay dearly, if we drop regular military
training of those who are to exercise the rights of
citizenship, Military training for defence, not only of
**our own country but also of the oppressed against wrong,
is so self evidently right that only a perverse pacifist or
a person who will learn nothing from history will set
himself to deny it.’ Once more, by taking a deep and
continuous interest in the problems of our own country
we are training ourselves for that broad empire view,
the absence of which will be a reproach in the future to
the’self-indulgent rich or the one-ideaed poor. By getting
out of our narrow grooves to the uplands of national
and imperial concern we are preparing ourselves, in turn,
for that general interest in the progress of mankind
which will lead both to a deep interest and concern for
Christian Missions and for such a sympathy for other
climes as will enable us to view with appreciation their
upward struggles into progressive light and life. This
springs from and does not contradict the sentiment we.
have learned to understand in these last years.
I do love
My country’s good, with a respect more tender,
More holy and profound, than mine own life.

source-South Leith Magazine 1919

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