CHAPTER IX.
THE BIAS OF PATRIOTISM.

"OUR country, right or wrong," is a sentiment not unfrequently expressed on the other side of the Atlantic; and, if I remember rightly, an equivalent sentiment was some years ago uttered in our own House of Commons, by one who rejoices, or at least who once rejoiced, in the title of philosophical Radical.

Whoever entertains such a sentiment has not that equilibrium of feeling required for dealing scientifically with social phenomena. To see how things stand, apart from personal and national interests, is essential before there can be reached those balanced judgments respecting the course of human affairs in general, which constitute Sociology.To be convinced of this, it needs but to take a case remote from our own. Ask how the members of an aboriginal tribe regard that tide of civilization which sweeps them away. Ask what the North-American Indians said about the spread of the white man over their territories, or what the ancient Britons thought of the invasions which dispossessed them of England; and it becomes clear that events which, looked at from an un-national point of view, were steps towards a higher life, seemed from a national point of view entirely evil.Admitting the truth so easily perceived in these cases, we must admit that only in proportion as we emancipate ourselves from the bias of patriotism, and consider our own society as one among many, having their histories and their futures, and some of them, perhaps, having better claims than we have to the inheritance of the Earth—only in proportion as we do this, shall we recognize those sociological truths

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