Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism

Both nationalism and patriotism show the relationship of individuals to their nation. The two terms are often confused and are often thought to refer to the same thing. However, there is a big difference between them. Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism

NATIONALISM  Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism

Nationalism means giving more importance to unity through cultural formation, including language and heritage. Patriotism refers to love for a nation, with more emphasis on values ​​and beliefs.

When talking about nationalism and patriotism, one cannot avoid the famous quote from George Orwell, who said that nationalism is “the worst enemy of peace.” According to him, nationalism is the feeling that one’s homeland is superior to others in all respects, while patriotism is nothing more than a feeling of admiration for the way of life of a nation. These concepts show that patriotism is passive by nature, while nationalism can be a bit aggressive.

Nationalism thinks only of the virtues of a country and not its deficiencies. Also, you may feel contempt for the virtues of other nations. Patriotism, on the other hand, values ​​responsibility rather than loyalty to one’s country.

The nationalist tries to find a justification for the mistakes made in the past, while the patriot allows people to understand the shortcomings and improvements of their country.


Patriotism is based on affection and nationalism is rooted in rivalry and resentment. It can be said that nationalism is militant by nature and patriotism is based on peace.

Most nationalists assume that their country is better than any other, while patriots believe that their country is one of the best and can be improved in many ways. Patriots tend to believe in friendly relations with other countries, while some nationalists do not.

For patriots, people from all over the world are considered equal, but for nationalists only people who belong to their own country should be considered as their equals.

A patriotic person tends to tolerate criticism and tries to learn something new from it, but a nationalist cannot tolerate any criticism and considers it an insult.

Key differences 

  • In patriotism people express love for their country passively, while the nationalist strives for the independence, interests and domination of his nation over another and expresses his love or concern for the country in an active way.
  • Nationalism does not tolerate criticism, while the other one accepts it and seeks to improve its country.

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