Jingoism ("hard nationalism," as wosbald names it) was running pretty hot in England before the Great War. Britain was the world's only superpower with a vast Empire. The racial superiority of the Teutonic tribes was undisputed.The line is from Chesterton’s first book of essays, The Defendant (1901) from the chapter, “A Defence of Patriotism”:
‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would think of saying. It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober.'
As Chesterton wrote this, the Boer War was well underway. Chesterton had opposed the Boer War from the beginning, in keeping with his principle that all people should be able to rule themselves as much as they want to.
In 1901, news broke that the British military response to the uprising was to burn all homes and crops and kill all livestock across vast regions where partisans were still resisting, and Boer families were being crowded into concentration camps. Starvation, disease and deaths of tens of thousands, mostly children.
The nationalist fervor cancelled anyone who spoke against the military and the concentration camps. Chesterton wrote his essay to defend those patriots (like himself) who loved Britain enough to condemn her atrocities and inhuman treatment of Boer women and children.Wikipedia wrote:A report after the war concluded that 27,927 Boers (of whom 24,074 [50 percent of the Boer child population] were children under 16) had died in the camps. In all, about one in four (25 percent) of the Boer inmates, mostly children, died.
"Improvements [however] were much slower in coming to the black camps". It is thought that about 12 percent of black African inmates died (about 14,154) but the precise number of deaths of black Africans in concentration camps is unknown as little attempt was made to keep any records of the 107,000 black Africans who were interned.
It is easy to see the same "nationalistic" mood among Americans. We aren't jingoistic or racist -- but some of us are so fixed on the idea that "migration is a human right" that we are willing to blindly overlook the concentration camp conditions on our southern border due to Biden's policies and willful neglect. Conditions are far worse (by orders of magnitude) than existed under Trump or even Obama.
The "nationalism" is most evident among the liberal media, who refuse to report on the conditions or get some pictures from the refugee camps as Biden does nothing to ease the humanitarian crisis. Anyone who voices concern about the crisis is cancelled as "racist."
"Nationalism" is not the best word to describe this attitude. But it squarely hits JPII's warning.... The guardians of freedom and decency are unwilling to criticize government policies and leaders when they fail to address the severe problems that they have caused.