Oliver Goldsmith was an, eighteenth-century top essayist. His thought-provoking essay, “National Prejudices” first tells us how most people suffer from narrow nationalism at the cost of internationalism.
Such people include even the so-called gentleman. They think that they can love their country only when they will hate other countries of the world. They believe that they are true patriots or nationalists. But this, according to Goldsmith, is a completely mistaken notion.
What does Oliver Goldsmith mean by National Prejudice at of View
It is rather over-enthusiasm or fanaticism. This is clear when a German thinks that he is first and last a German and a citizen of his country and not a citizen of the world. He rather boasts of what the author calls national merit in a lighter vein.
The writer views that such a person whether he be the so-called German or Briton is prejudiced. Such a man is like a vine creeper. Because he has no strength of his own to bank upon, he rests upon the sturdy oak.
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He swears by patriotism but is a pseudo-patriot. Making an apt analogy the writer asserts that this pseudo-nationalism is like superstition or enthusiasm. A man of false religion thinks that he is a believer in true religion.
How do they stand in the way of world citizenship
He imagines that his faith is like the heavenly plant, but his blind faith and belief are like the bastardly sprouts of the heavenly plant of religion. So is the case of the pseudo-patriot.
His nationalism is fictitious and fanatic i.e. narrow but not heavenly. Real nationalism is like that genuine branch that can grow up only when the bastardly shoots of a branch are cut off. In reality, it is they that get in the way of the genuine and natural development of a nation.
Describe the main Ideas of National Prejudices
The moment the narrow nationalist gives off his national prejudices and pre-possession. He is free from the erected barriers. He crosses them and deservedly then he assumes world citizenship and this is the highest ideal.
No doubt, nationalism is a high ideal, but internationalism is a higher one. So it is natural that they never cross each other. They instead help each other and can live together and grow together. wiki