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”All nations accuse us of fanaticism. I admit the charge – I

go further and say that we are justified in our fanaticism.

Translated in the language of biology fanaticism is nothing

but the principle of individuation working in the case of

group. In this sense all forms of life are more or less

fanatical and ought to be so if they care for their collective

life. And as a matter of fact all nations are fanatical.

Criticise an Englishman’s religion, he is immovable; but

criticise his civilisation, his country or the behaviour of his

nation in any sphere of activity and you will bring out his

innate fanaticism. The reason is that his nationality does

not depend on religion; it has a geographical basis – his

country. His fanaticism then is justly roused when you

criticise his country. Our position, however, is

fundamentally different. With us nationality is a pure

idea; it has no material basis. Our only rallying point is a sort of

mental agreement in a certain view of the world. If then

our fanaticism is roused when our religion is criticised, I

think we are as much justified in our fanaticism as an

Englishman is when his civilisation is denounced. The

feeling in both cases is the same though associated with

different objects.

Fanaticism is patriotism for religion; patriotism, fanaticism for country.”

Stray Reflections