While rereading Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness for this month’s reading group post, I found a quote that seems all too appropriate for the current political climate here in the US. Estraven, the king’s adviser, asks Genly Ai, an envoy from off planet, if he knows what patriotism is. When Ai answers that he doesn’t know, aside from love of one’s country, Estraven explains:
“No, I don’t mean love, when I say patriotism. I mean fear. The fear of the other. And its expressions are political, not poetical: hate, rivalry, aggression. It grows in us, that fear. It grows in us year by year. We’ve followed our road too far.”
I’ll have the reading group post up later this month, but I wanted to note this passage before then. How do we keep ourselves as a nation from following our own patriotic road too far?