AUGUST BEBEL, leader of the German Social-Democratic Party in the Reichstag, writes as follows :-
1st. What do we mean by patriotism?
That every nation which has its own language, its own customs, its own civilisation, and its history has the right of developing in its own way, and of governing itself. The man is a patriot who tries to obtain for the nation to which he belongs by his birth, his language, and his customs, without hurting or injuring any other nation, the highest civilisation in the interest of all. If he follows this ideal, without any idea of self-interest, and without helping the governing class, but in the interest of all, he is working for the highest ideal open to any man.
2nd. What do we mean by internationalism?
Not the suppression of nationalities, not the violent fusion of nations, but the upholding and the progress of pacific relations of civilisation among nations. Side by side with the national civilisation of a nation, there exists all international civilisation in which each nation participates in the measure of its moral and intellectual development. Our business relations, our scientific, artistic and literary activity, the exchange of inventions and discoveries are the principal characteristics of this international effort. Internationalism tends to make these relations more and more close by the entering into of commercial agreements, of maritime conventions, of treaties of alliance, by the exchange of all the resources of civilisation, by international laws for the protection of the “workers, by the development of international law, by the equalisation of rights and duties of foreigners and native-born subjects, by the progress of humanitarian effort among all nations, by the solution of differences between nations by an international court of arbitration.
This internationalism compels Socialists to fight constantly against the lust of conquest, the hostile isolation of nations, the tariff-wars, the bellicose naval and military armaments, because all this tends to increase national prejudice, and threatens constant war.
The aim of all international action should be a world-parliament, in which should sit representatives of all civilised nations, and which should regulate all international relations, making them more and more close.
Patriotism and Internationalism are not necessarily antagonistic, but supplement each other, marking towards a more and more perfect civilisation.