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Jiddu Krishnamurti on Nationalism / Patriotism etc.,
Questioner: What is it that comes when nationalism goes?
Krishnamurti: Intelligence. The implication in this question is what can be substituted for nationalism. All substitution is an action which does not bring about intelligence. Substituting one political party for another, one religious belief for another, one guru for another, one leader for another, is an act of ignorance.
How does nationalism or patriotism cease? Only in understanding its full implication outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly, it creates division between people as class, as races, as economic frontiers, and so on, ultimately bringing about strife and war. Inwardly, psychologically, nationalism is the outcome of the craving to identify oneself with something greater, the greater being the family, the group, the race, the country, and the idea. This identification is a form of self-expansion. Living in narrow circumstances in a village or in a town, you are nobody. But if you identify yourself with the larger, with a class, with a group, with a country – call yourself a Hindu, a Christian, or a Muslim – then there is a sense of gratification whose prestige gives vanity. The psychological necessity for identification is the outcome of inward poverty. Self-expansion through identification breeds mischief and destruction. In understanding this process there comes freedom and intelligence, and not substitution.
When you substitute religion for nationalism or nationalism for religion, both become the means for self-expansion and so lead to contention and misery. Any form of substitution, however noble, leads to illusion. Substitution is bribery. Only in understanding the problem at its different levels, outward as well as inward, intelligence comes into being.