There are two kinds of patriotism -- monarchical patriotism and republican patriotism. In the one case, the government and the king may rightfully furnish you their notions of patriotism: in the other, neither government nor the entire nation is privileged to dictate to any individual what the form of his patriotism shall be. The Gospel of Monarchical Patriotism is: " The King can do no wrong. " We have adopted it with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: " Our country, right or wrong! "
We have thrown away the most valuable asset we have -- the individual right to oppose both flag and country when he (just he by himself) believes them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it all away: and with it, all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism. --Mark Twain
The Boston Phoenix's Barry Crimmins sums up The Year of W. in this eloquently written take on 2001.