Advances in Applied Sociology
Vol.05 No.05(2015), Article ID:56317,5 pages

The Contemporary Value of Patriotism

Jingxiang Wang, Shaoying Jia

Beijing Union University, Beijing, China


Copyright © 2015 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 10 April 2015; accepted 11 May 2015; published 14 May 2015


Patriotism is a kind of emotion, will, thought theory and behavior as a whole. The reaction of the complex relationship between individuals and country value system is formed in the process of social history, and it is developed and consolidated in the process of the history of human society, it is a kind of thought and feeling of loyalty and love their motherland. Under the background of contemporary economic globalization, some people that carry forward the patriotism produce confusion even think patriotism has become less important. From the perspective of the development of China and the world, this paper makes researches on contemporary value of patriotism, patriotism is of realistic significance on safeguarding national sovereignty and interests, and helps to achieve the China dream, deal with complex international environmental challenges, and participate in the international competition.


Patriotism, The Contemporary Value, Economic Globalization

1. Introduction

Since human history is the country, the national dependence on their own survival state will form the basis for the patriotism. In modern times, frequent contacts among countries, national sovereignty and interests have become the focus of their defending. Since 1990s, the rapid development has made the world enter the era of economic globalization, and countries also change the original power rivalry under the circumstances of peace and development in the fierce competition in many fields. In this context of economic globalization, many of the country’s citizens carried out a variety of activities in the world. They may leave their hometown for a long time, work or live in another country, but have a great affection on the country. Due to the need of work and life, some of them gave up the original nationality and joined a new nationality, or even in some countries, the people also have dual nationality or multiple nationalities. This situation often makes some people confused about national significance and personal sense of belonging, and doubts: “In economic globalization era, economic ties among countries need to follow the common rules, and there is no need to carry forward the patriotism.” (Zhu, 2012) . In present complicated and changeable era of globalization, this view has certain representativeness.

Patriotism is the common feeling of human society, the citizens of a country for their love of the motherland is a natural emotion. Patriotism is a kind of emotion, will, thought theory and behavior reaction of personal relationship with the countries of the value of the complex system, is formed in the process of social history, it is a kind of thought and feeling of loyalty and people love their motherland, such feeling is from people’s dependence and identity of the motherland and the nation.

So, in present era, is patriotism really out of date? In this paper, from the perspective of the development of the world and China, we talk about the contemporary value of patriotism.

2. Safeguarding State Sovereignty and Interests

2.1. State and the Principle of National Sovereignty

Country is a great achievement in human development. The civilization of human society can make a country develop better. A country usually has a common culture, thought, language, race, territory and history, even in an age of in-depth development of economic globalization, while countries connect with each other, the degree of interdependence unprecedented deepens, more and more become the sometimes-complex mix-and-match, they become more and more close for the interests of the community, but the country is still the highest form of organization of national existence, is still an independent subject in the international community. As long as the country continues to exist, there exist safeguard national sovereignty and maintenance of the existing international order status (The United Nations charter).

In today’s world, the international community is made up of sovereign states. National sovereignty, a nation state relative to other national status, shows that each country in its own geographical scope with independent jurisdiction. As long as the country continues to exist, we should follow the principle of national sovereignty. The principle of national sovereignty is the most basic and primitive principle in the major principles of international relations, it is the base to maintain the international order. Now there are more than 200 countries in the world, in order to better maintain international order, the vast majority of countries have joined the United Nations. The UN charter is that the United Nations member states that they must abide by the rules, which means in order to maintain international peace and security, to promote international cooperation in solving international economic, social, cultural and human welfare and other issues, the members should comply with the principle of the sovereign equality. Rights and obligations of state sovereignty is dialectical unification, a national sovereign right is to respect the sovereignty of other countries as a precondition, and national sovereignty is also the basis to maintain the existing international order. Therefore, all countries in the world in the process of international communication must respect the national sovereignty and shouldn’t infringe upon other countries’ sovereignty.

2.2. Globalization and National Sovereignty and Interests

No matter when, as long as the country still exists, the “mutual respect for sovereignty” diplomatic principle between countries is still the basis for international social order, which is also used to maintain the world peace and security. The United Nations that has practiced more than 60 years has proved that only the national sovereignty and equality in international relations were fully followed, the aim of the United Nations can be achieved and the international community can develop orderly and peacefully.

Since new China was founded in 1949, China has been sticking to an independent foreign policy, safeguarding state sovereignty is the sacred duty. The eighteenth big report of the communist party of China emphasized in the complicated and changeable international environment, we should correctly handle the relationship between consistency and diversity and hold the banner of patriotism and socialism (Hu, 2012) .

Nation state in the era of globalization has changed in many ways, but it does not mean that we should compromise the interests of the nation and deny the national sovereignty. Some scholars think: “Globalization and nation-state is not the opposite, it not only fails to weaken the state sovereignty, on the contrary it makes consciousness of national sovereignty strengthen and national status in international competition more and more important.” (Shi, 2000) . Globalization not only does not weaken the national interests, is also a way to enhance the strength of nation. The principle of respect for sovereignty and national interests is the most common standard on national foreign relations, therefore, the patriotic consciousness and spirit will better promote the maintenance of national sovereignty and national interests.

3. Help Realize China Dream

3.1. China’s Patriotic Tradition

Since ancient times, China has deep roots of patriotic tradition and the patriotism vigorously develops in the warring states period, such as Qu Yuan threw himself into a river, which makes the Chu patriotic story become eternal. However, after the establishment of a unified empire from Qin and Han dynasties, China became a powerful and civilized country in a long period, no surrounding country which has the same cultural level and political system can compete with it. Therefore, the idea of “nation” in Chinese mind has become increasingly weak, “the world” concept has become increasingly strong. “Ambition and responsibility”, in the description of a book of rites, is not to safeguard a country as the ultimate purpose, is to face the rise and fall of the world. As early as the 16th century, when the Italy missionary Matteo Ricci came to China, he found Chinese was not in the name of the country to deal with surrounding countries, on the contrary it made friends with hear to contact with other countries. A small country to China is for tribute, rather than a fair deal. (Zheng, 2003) . Because of the long-term historical fact, humiliated China in modern history, the Qing Dynasty had not yet put national interests in an important position. After the debacle, it unexpectedly did “all Chinese material let other countries happy”.

In modern times, China encountered the plunder from Western powers, which aroused a strong patriotic enthusiasm of Chinese people, and made them actively participate in the fight to defend the motherland. In 1902, Liang Qichao wrote an article named “On the Trend of Changes Chinese Academic Thoughts”, which is full of enthusiasm to: “Oh, beauty, my country! Oh, great, my people! When I start this speech, I have to wash the body and incense, thank God, I was born in the beautiful country, become a member of the great national…… I am happy to dance with joy, sentiment, cannot express. Ah! I love my motherland, I love my people!” Liang Qichao as a pioneer, with the May 4th Movement as a symbol of patriotism awakening, is self struggle for long-term colonial plunder of. It was patriotism that let each Chinese make efforts and won the China’s independence, development and prosperity.

3.2. The Chinese Dream and Patriotism

On the road of development in China, the Chinese experienced a bumpy suffering, China can be said to be a long suffering country, and the suffering and vicissitudes of life shaped Chinese deep patriotism emotion, it is the patriotic feelings of 1.3 billion Chinese together. In the eighteen national congress of the communist party of China, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping explicitly proposed to build a prosperous, democratic, civilized and harmonious modern socialist country, to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and it is the dream of the great Chinese people since the Opium War, it is also the supreme interests of the Chinese nation and the fundamental interests (Xi, 2013) .

Standing in the Chinese perspective, the China dream is the dream of the Chinese nation to unite under the banner of patriotism dream in modern times. To achieve national prosperity and the well-being of the people, China dream is dream of unity of the whole national and each Chinese, is the Chinese nation’s history, reality and future dreams of unity. Standing in the international perspective, to realize China’s dream will not only benefit the Chinese people, but also can benefit the people of the world; it is the unity of patriotism and internationalism. The Chinese nation will provide greater contributions to the world peace and development.

The Chinese dream and the Chinese nation in modern times are closely related to patriotism, its vision is very broad and it is rich in connotation. It can be said that the dream of the Chinese dream is patriotism. The first emphasis of China dream is to achieve national prosperity and rejuvenation, rather than individual success, and everyone can only assume the responsibility of national prosperity and national rejuvenation in order to realize the individual value. The Chinese dream is national dream and the dream of every Chinese. In China, in the 5000-year social and historical development process, the Chinese nation had formed the national spirit with patriotism as the core, and had established the common national consciousness and national psychological stability with “the home is the smallest country, the country is a combination of thousands of families” and “the country is the first and the family is the second, the family and the country are a whole” (Niu & Zhu, 2014) . This national spirit keeps the Chinese nation tradition is the Chinese people’s ideological basis of solidarity and common struggle.

In the gradually integrated development of the world under the background of the times, China dream is the patriotic dream of this period, and in order to realize the China dream, we should carry forward the spirit of China with the banner of patriotism. Patriotism is a China dream to realize spiritual strength, it is this spirit of solidarity to form cohesion and centripetal force of Chinese nation, and has become a powerful driving force to realize China dream.

4. Cope with the Complex International Environment Challenge

4.1. The Complexity of the Globalization

After the end of World War II, when the world’s powerful political and military history of colonial temporarily come to an end, in order to continue to plunder the colonial achievements in the new environment, to maintain the hegemony, a transcendent “country” concept, a cultural and ethnic identity concept appeared―“western”. Europe and the USA bunch together, they, through every kind of Multi-National Corporation, financial institutions and international organizations of every hue, set off a storm of economic globalization and achieved control of the world’s wealth and resources. The first obstacle of Western power Multi-National Corporation to plunder the eastern world, which can be said the most important obstacle, is the sovereign state in those areas. Therefore, only weakened the national sovereignty in these areas, as far as possible to reduce costs and plunder obstacles, they can achieve to maximize their benefits (Gordon, 2001) .

American scholar Samuel Huntington in his book “The clash of civilizations and the reconstruction of the world order” describes that the whole western culture and other cultures of the world (such as the type of Islamic culture and Chinese Culture) are different and have confrontation and conflict, and predict that the future conflict and war in the world mainly occurs in different civilizations. That obscures the western society to a certain extent for the real aim of national interests to pursue, as if to let people believe that the world’s disputes caused not because western plunder, but due to different ideas and different civilizations, it’s clearly a fuzzy of national interests and sovereignty (Huntington & Zhou, 2010) .

At present, China is in a critical period of development, as an important subject of the world economy, China has moved to achieve the dream. However, China remains the world’s largest developing country and its international status has not changed. In today’s complex international environment, the developing countries are not only facing economic challenges, but also need to deal with risks in the field of politics, culture and ecology, etc.

4.2. The Influence of “Neoliberalism”

Since 1980 s, capitalism has been across the country, gradually from state monopoly to the international monopoly. “Neoliberalism” also rose to the surface from an academic theory into a political ideological trend. With the further development of economic globalization, the “new liberalism” has become a mainstream of contemporary capitalism economic ideology and become the core concept of the United States and Britain and made other countries carry out the theory system of the integration of global capitalism in the world. In recent 20 years, with the rapid development of economic globalization, the new liberalism continuously in a variety of ways spread around the world, and many countries in different degrees were influenced by this thought.

In September 2008, the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis triggered a global financial crisis, the international financial crisis is the direct cause of the outbreak of the financial regulatory issues, but the fundamental reason is the inevitable result of the inherent contradiction in the development of international financial monopoly capitalism, and the international financial monopoly capitalism is the new liberalism―the complete form of the “Washington consensus” as the theoretical basis, it takes “the role of government minimum” and “rapid liberalization” as the core ideas. The “new liberalism” is carried out, resulting in a large number of unemployed workers, inequality and social unrest, the pattern of the fall of the government and a series of serious social problems in many countries in the world, with disastrous consequences for these countries (Li, 2010) .

Economic globalization is not the same as political integration, culture integration, various countries’ sovereign interests integration. Under the background of economic globalization deepening comprehensive reform, we must take national interests as the fundamental, to guard against and resist the interference of new liberalism, neither take the old rigid closed, nor change the nature of society, we should adhere to the correct direction of the reform, improve the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

5. The Essential Condition of International Competition

5.1. Under the Background of Globalization of the New Connotation of Patriotism

State is the main body of the international community and the main participant in the international competition. Especially with the progress of science and technology and frequent exchanges between countries in modern times, the development of economic globalization has become an irresistible trend, under the background of globalization, the international competition is increasingly fierce, patriotism is more complex than before, and therefore more inclusive. Whether a person has a nationality is not a basic standard that used to judge whether he is patriotic. As long as a person care and love the people of the motherland, concern about the country’s development, then he has a thankful heart of the country, and has a patriotic ambition, even if the change of nationality is still a patriot, we can’t deny his feelings of patriotism. In the new period to participate in international competition, no matter how far you are, as long as you love the motherland, try your best to contribute to the prosperity of the motherland, then you are patriotic (Shi, 2009) .

In July 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping, in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in the face of many scientists, he said: “With a strong patriotic feeling, the first requirement for China’s is scientific and technological personnel, science without borders, scientists have the motherland”.

5.2. Internet and Patriotism

In present era, information technology develops with high speed; the Internet has also become an international competition of the market. The Internet has a simple access to information from the past and becomes part of life, work and study, while China is currently the most populous country that uses the Internet in the world. Along with the increasing openness, the abundance of network resources and information can be acquired, including all kinds of true or false information from the network. In the sharp contradiction period in today’s society, maintaining social stability is a top priority in China. Therefore, the scientific use of the network, and actively guiding the public to identify false information, taking the initiative to publish official news of emergency, will make for diverting public sentiment and eliminating the unstable factors. In recent years, China has also used the Internet to all kinds of patriotism education and publicity, including establishing relevant website. In recent years, there have been some Chinese using the power of the network to positively report the patriotic events, such as the “5.12” Wenchuan earthquake period, people use network to donate things, report relative news and so on. Of course, Chinese Internet users use the Internet to express patriotic enthusiasm which has just started and is still in the growth stage, and still facing lots of problems, e-patriotism’s voice is very weak. How to use the network to promote the development of China patriotism, and how to participate in international competition actively also needs to be explored further.

Taking economic construction as the center of building socialism with Chinese characteristics is still the basic line that China must adhere to the development and is the embodiment of the highest national interests. China’s patriotism should be on the highest interests of the state. In the 21 st century, the competition among countries is mainly the competition of talents, the core talent cultivation is the first to cultivate the spirit of patriotism of the person. Under the background of economic globalization, no matter where you are, no matter when and where, making a contribution for the China economic construction or contributing ideas and exerting efforts for the country are all the embodiment of patriotism.

6. The Countries All over the World Are Attaches Great Importance to and Strengthen the National Patriotism Education

Under the background of in-depth development of economic globalization, whether developing countries or developed countries all generally pay attention to strengthen the national patriotism education, and carry forward the national spirit of patriotism (Liu, 2014) .

On August 22, 2012, Russia officially became the 156 th member of World Trade Organization (WTO). After entering WTO, Russia pay more attention and strengthen the development of its patriotism spirit. In February 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin in a ceremony to commemorate the great patriotic war victory also stressed that to maintain state system and strengthen the national sovereignty, strengthening the patriotic education is the principle problem. Patriotism is the love of the motherland. If there is no patriotism, any country cannot survive; the state will vanish like sugar dissolves in water. In January 2014, President Putin met with the Russian unified history textbook outline writing staff, he said the teacher who taught students history should be based on patriotism and respect the objectivity of history.

In today’s world, many countries take part in carrying forward the patriotic education as the education of values, and the love of motherland are the important contents of the core values. Russia does it; the United States also does the same thing. In 2009, Obama said in a speech, “Let us awaken their patriotism, wake up for my country’s sense of responsibility. The maintenance of national unity is our common pursuit of value.” (Obama, 2009)

In China, one of the important content of socialist core value system is the national spirit with patriotism as the core. The eighteenth congress of the communist party of China put forward the socialist core values of “the three advocated” and “Patriotism, dedication, integrity, kindness” would become the basic value that citizens of our country should establish. In December 2013, the general office of the central committee of the communist party of China issued the opinions about cultivating and practicing the socialist core values. And it specifies that, in the direction of strengthening the patriotic education, patriotism is the spiritual pillar, is a guide to action, is the code of conduction to adjust the relationship between the individual and the country. Patriotism and socialism are close together, we should take responsibility for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Under the background of economic globalization, promoting patriotism education has become a top priority to consolidate the position of the country in the complicated and changeable international environment of the world.

7. Conclusion

Patriotism, a kind of emotion, will, thought theory and behavior as a whole, is a reaction of the relationship between personal and national complex value systems, is the spiritual power of national survival and development, and is faith foundation of Chinese people to achieve their China dream. With the development of the era, patriotism has a deeper meaning. In the prevailing of peace and development today, every country competes with other countries hotly, so patriotism will have more contemporary values. Especially for China’s rapid economic development and all kinds of complicated factors, we should be more vigilant and strengthen the patriotism feelings. Through the unity of the concerted efforts of the construction of well-off society, the dream of Chinese will come true soon.


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