Thoreauvian Patriotism as an Environmental Virtue

Abstract
In Walden Henry David Thoreau argues for and against patriotism. This paper argues that thoughtful environmentalists should do likewise. It explicates Thoreau’s accounts of “settling” and farming as efforts to rethink and deepen his connections to the land. These efforts define a patriotism that is local, thoughtful and moral. Thoreau’s economic philosophy can be seen as applied patriotism. Likeother virtues such as courage or prudence, patriotism is liable to a skewed development and various kinds of misuse. Yet properly developed it is a part of a good human life. Thoreauvian patriotism provides a strong base from which to oppose militarism and xenophobia, which many intellectuals mistakenly equate with patriotism
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